September 08, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Trevone Boykin missed a couple of easy throws that could have been touchdowns and third-ranked TCU was held under 30 points for the first time since the 2013 season - and before adding its new up-tempo offense.

While that wasn't what most expected from the playoff-hopeful Horned Frogs in their opener, they did win on the road against a Big Ten team. And coach Gary Patterson was quick to defend the record-setting quarterback who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting last season as his team gets set to host FCS team Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.

''He took some shots in that ballgame. If there's any bigger competitor than what Trevone is, I mean there's some really good football players, there's some really good players that I watched this weekend, but I don't think there's any compete any harder than what he does,'' Patterson said. ''Without him, we don't win the Minnesota game.''

Boykin accounted for 338 total yards (246 passing, 92 rushing) and two touchdowns in the 23-17 victory on Sept. 3. His 19-yard TD run right after halftime came when he checked into an option play and scored with what Patterson called ''pure athletic ability.''

''Trevone handled the first game how he handles every game,'' tailback Kyle Hicks said. ''He was cool, he was composed. A great leader, bringing the energy and everything.''

The Frogs dropped one spot Tuesday in The Associated Press Top 25 and the coaches' poll, in which Patterson is a voter.

''I saw some really good football teams Saturday and, I'll be honest with you, I voted a couple of them ahead us,'' Patterson said, without giving specifics. ''That's why they put me there to vote ... supposed to be honest. You watch what you watch, you see what you see, and then you need to do what you need to do.''

Defending national champion Ohio State was the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP poll, and Alabama jumped to second ahead of TCU and No. 4 Baylor in both polls.

In the final College Football Playoff rankings last December that determined the top four teams for the national semifinal games, Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU finished just behind No. 4 Ohio State. Those weekly rankings start Nov. 3 and go through the final release Dec. 6, when this season's playoff teams will be determined.

The Frogs were held to a season-low 30 points against Minnesota last season, when they went on to average 46.5 points and 533.0 yards while going 12-1 after hiring co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie. They had 449 yards in this year's opener against the Golden Gophers.

''I said that after the ballgame, you found a way to have 450 yards and go on the road and win a ballgame, and really, you left some points on the field,'' Patterson said. ''So for us, your ceiling is a lot higher.''

Patterson said junior linebacker Sammy Douglas is done for the season after getting hurt early in the first start of his career. The Horned Frogs lost another starting linebacker when Patterson announced after Wednesday's practice that Mike Freeze has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team.

Patterson said Freeze's decision was for personal reasons and that he was surprised by the move.

Senior defensive end James McFarland (foot), the team's sack leader last season, is still out after missing the opener.

Stephen F. Austin saw its comeback fall short in the season opener last Saturday, falling 34-28 at home to Northern Arizona. Trailing 34-14, the Lumberjacks rallied in the fourth quarter to score twice when Zach Conque hit Justice Liggins from 19 yards out and, with 2:54 remaining, Conque ran it in from the 10.

Conque was 28 of 38 for 297 yards with a TD and an interception while also rushing for 68 yards and a pair of scores.

"Fundamentally, we weren't very good. Until we get that fixed, we're not going to be as good as we can be," coach Clint Conque said. "We have a group of young guys that are a little humbled and embarrassed, but it's our job as a staff to get them prepared schematically and fundamentally."

TCU won 67-7 in the only meeting between these schools in 2008.

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